overview

Travel across the wide-open landscapes and big skies of Namibia in search of the country’s most spectacular sights and thrilling outdoor adventures on this 15-day self-drive adventure. The itinerary is filled with destinations that offer plenty of exciting activities, making it ideal for young-at-heart couples, small groups, and families with older children. In your 4x4 rental vehicle, you will visit memorable lodges that provide cosy and unpretentious accommodation as well as unforgettable safari experiences.

Your tour begins after touching down at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek and a restful overnight stay in the capital city. Wake up refreshed and head south into the Namib Desert to the point where vast plains and rugged mountains give way to the expansive red dunes of Sossusvlei. Spend two days exploring this unique desert ecosystem, then journey north to the seaside town city of Swakopmund where the abundant Atlantic Ocean contrasts with the towering sand dunes and quaint historic architecture.  

Search for highly adapted wildlife in Damaraland including the rare desert elephant, and marvel at Stone Age rock etchings at Twyfelfontein. No African adventure is complete without a classic big game safari, and your visit to both the eastern and western regions of Etosha National Park, Namibia’s flagship game reserve, is sure to fill your safari quota. Your last stop before returning to Windhoek is Okonjima Nature Reserve, where you can learn more about projects to conserve Namibia’s leopards and cheetahs at the AfriCat Foundation.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Experience Namibia at your own pace
  • Explore the dunes of Sossusvlei 
  • Land & sea adventure in Swakopmund
  • Ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein
  • Safari in Etosha National Park 
  • See big cats at the AfriCat Foundation

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

A Night in the Capital

On landing at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, you will collect your 4x4 vehicle and head to the Olive Grove Guesthouse for a peaceful overnight stay after your long-haul flight. Book in for a massage at the wellness centre or spend your afternoon relaxing in the sunny alfresco lounge or soaking in the spa bath. If you would like to take it easy, in-room massages and room service can be arranged. For the energetic, the shops and restaurants of Windhoek are a short stroll from the guesthouse. 

Days 2-4

The Red Dunes of Sossusvlei

In the morning, head south for Sossusvlei Lodge, a luxury desert oasis in southern Namibia, set just outside Namib-Nauklaft National Park. The lodge offers easy access to Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. Enjoy guided or self-drive expeditions into the park, float over the awe-inspiring landscape in a hot-air balloon, or opt for a thrilling light aircraft flight over the rippling ochre-coloured dunes. Interactive activities such as eco-friendly quad biking (ATVs), guided nature walks and archery are great for families, while couples can spoil themselves with romantic dining in the wild and sundowner trips.  

Days 5-6

Sand & sea at Swakopmund

Travel at your own leisure in a north-east direction to the coastal town of Swakopmund - a quaint settlement between the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the hot sands of the Namib Desert. The city dates back to German colonial settlement in the late 19th century and its original Bavarian-inspired architecture adds great charm to the town’s intriguing natural landscape. Arrive at the Swakopmund Guesthouse in the late afternoon or early evening, perhaps in time for a sunset walk along the beach. The following day is yours to explore and play: choose from water sports, sand boarding, quad biking, thrilling off-road trails, dolphin and seal safaris, and at the right time of year, a true German-style October beer fest!

Days 7-8

The dreamy landscapes of Damaraland

The next leg of your journey takes you further north along the beautiful Atlantic coastline and then inland to the golden plains of Damaraland. Your luxurious base in this landscape where time seems have stood still is Camp Kipwe, an authentic eco-lodge where you can enjoy guided drives in search of desert elephants, nature walks and historical tours, night drives, and dazzling stargazing. The lodge is located in the Twyfelfontein region, which is most famous for its incredible rock art that consists of at least 5 000 carvings of animals, humans and geometrics, some of which date back thousands of years to the Stone Age. 

Days 9-10

Safari at Etosha National Park

From Damaraland, continue north-west to Andersson’s Tented Camp, which is set on the private Ongava Game Reserve that borders Etosha National Park. Enjoy the best of both worlds with exclusive safari experiences in Ongava as well as self-drive or guided explorations into Etosha. This region offers good year-round game viewing of elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest as well as the rare Damara dik-dik. The daily schedule at Andersson’s includes morning and afternoon game drives into Etosha, and guided walks and night drives in the Ongava reserve. 

Days 11-12

Cross vast Etosha Pan

Travel to the eastern portion of Etosha, passing the edge of the expansive Etosha Pan as you head toward the Onguma Tree-top Lodge. Here your discovery of the park continues and, with only four suites at the lodge, you are guaranteed a unique, intimate and personalised safari experience. Onguma is set on a private reserve and activities available include wildlife and rhino tracking, guided or self-drive game drives, nature walks and night drives. 

Days 13-14

Big cats in Waterberg

Bidding farewell to Etosha, you will begin moving south back towards Windhoek, stopping for your last adventure near Namibia’s Waterberg Plateau Park in Kunene. Enjoy two nights at the cosy Okonjima Plains Camp, spending your days hiking through the mountains, bird watching and learning about the conservation of Namibia’s big cats. The AfriCat Foundation is what Kunene is best known for and a visit to the centre is an opportunity to track rehabilitated predators on foot or on a game drive, and learn about the research and rehabilitation of cats such as leopards and cheetahs. 

Day 15

Return to Windhoek

Make your way back to the capital city of Windhoek where your self-drive journey through awe-inspiring and unforgettable Namibia comes to its end. At the airport you will return your 4x4 and proceed to check-in for your return flight home. 

Inclusions

  • 15 Days Car Rental
  • 1 Night at Olive Grove on bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 Nights at Sossusvlei Lodge on dinner, bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights at Swakopmund Guesthouse on bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights at Camp Kipwe on full board basis
  • 2 Nights at Andersson's Camp on dinner, bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights at Onguma Tree-Top Camp on dinner, bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights at Okonjima Plains Camp on dinner, bed and breakfast basis

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
Bonita Cronje

Bonita Cronje

Africa Safari Expert

"This trip incorporates all of the major attractions on the Northern Circuit in Nambia. Highlights would be visiting the Dunes and Deadvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park, searching for the desert elephant, viewing wildlife in their natural environment and tracking cheetah"

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